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RISK ASSESSMENT & APPROVAL: Indian GM rubber trials might go to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:   GM RUBBER TRIALS LIKELY IN TN AND KARNATAKA

SOURCE:  Financial Chronical, India

AUTHOR:  Sangeetha G.

URL:     http://www.mydigitalfc.com/economy/gm-rubber-trials-likely-tn-and-karnataka-632

DATE:    26.09.2011

SUMMARY: "The board had sought permission from Kerala and Maharashtra to conduct trials in those states. Having declared GM-free, Kerala government had openly opposed the field trials. ?Kerala has not responded to our request and Maharashtra still says the request is being processed. Now, we are looking at other states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to conduct the trials. We will approach the MoEF on this before going to the respective state governments,? said Sheela Thomas, chairperson, rubber board."

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GM RUBBER TRIALS LIKELY IN TN AND KARNATAKA

AFTER receiving unfavourable response from state governments of Kerala and Maharashtra, the rubber board is now seeking permission to conduct field trials of its genetically modified rubber in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Late last year, ministry of environment and forests had given permission to rubber board to conduct field trials of its GM rubber. The Rubber Research Institute of India had developed GM rubber plants that have the capacity to overcome adverse effects of global warming and climate change, especially prolonged drought and tapping panel dryness.

These conditions are some of the major reasons for production loss.

The board had sought permission from Kerala and Maharashtra to conduct trials in those states. Having declared GM-free, Kerala government had openly opposed the field trials. ?Kerala has not responded to our request and Maharashtra still says the request is being processed. Now, we are looking at other states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to conduct the trials. We will approach the MoEF on this before going to the respective state governments,? said Sheela Thomas, chairperson, rubber board.

Seeking further steps to increase rubber production, the board will once again focus on the northeastern states, as the climatic conditions in that region are suitable for the plant.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   RUBBER BOARD TO CONDUCT FIELD TRIALS FOR GM VARIETY

SOURCE:  The Financial Express, India

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Rubber-Board-to-conduct-field-trials-for-GM-variety/851612/

DATE:    26.09.2011

SUMMARY: "The Rubber Board is awaiting states? nod to conduct the field trials of genetically modified rubber crop, said Sheela Thomas, chairperson, Rubber Board. ?Subsequent to the clearance of ministry of environment and forest to conduct field trials of GM rubber, we solicited rubber plantation states to volunteer for the exercise. Since we met with tepid response from the states, GM field trials have now been made mandatory. We are soon likely to engage with Maharashtra and Kerala for the field trials of GM rubber. We are proud to be (among) the pioneers in the GM rubber research in the world,? she said."

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RUBBER BOARD TO CONDUCT FIELD TRIALS FOR GM VARIETY

Chennai: The Rubber Board is awaiting states? nod to conduct the field trials of genetically modified (GM) rubber crop, said Sheela Thomas, chairperson, Rubber Board. ?Subsequent to the clearance of ministry of environment and forest to conduct field trials of GM rubber, we solicited rubber plantation states to volunteer for the exercise. Since we met with tepid response from the states, GM field trials have now been made mandatory. We are soon likely to engage with Maharashtra and Kerala for the field trials of GM rubber. We are proud to be (among) the pioneers in the GM rubber research in the world,? she said.

Regarding production and consumption of natural rubber in the country, she said for the 2011-12 fiscal year, the projection of production would be around 9,02,000 tonne with the estimated consumption of about 9,77,000 tonne apparently leaving a gap between production and consumption of about 75,000 tonne. Besides the traditional rubber plantation hubs of Kerala, Rubber Board is fostering rubber cultivation in insurgency-hit areas of north-eastern states including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Bodoland, she added.

?Chief Ministers of north eastern states extend special attention to promotion of rubber cultivation as a rehabilitative measure to counter the ill-effects of insurgency in those areas. Kerala owes its antecedents in rubber cultivation to Britishers whereas the success of north eastern states could be attributed to joint initiative of farmers, Rubber Board and the respective state governments. Likewise Kanya Kumari district in Tamil Nadu is a potential harvest area for natural rubber?, she said.

Sheela also said the thrust area is to focus on the non-tyre manufacturing SME industries in the country. ?It would be building competitiveness of non-tyre rubber manufacturing SMEs to deliver services at competitive cost and quality. On the cultivation side, labour shortage is a major challenge with emerging trends like part-time farming practice?, she added.

Vinod T Simon, president, All India Rubber Industries Association, called for bridging the gap between production and consumption of rubber by increasing the hectare area of cultivation. ?The projected deficit of 75,000 tonne should be bridged by increasing the hectare area of cultivation. Despite this, India ranks first in the world rubber productivity which is over 1700 kg/ha. We are also happy for the fact that rubber board is taking initiatives to promote brand ?Indian Natural Rubber??, he said.